Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Georgia (2.)
GEORGIA, one of the thirteen original States of the American Union, has Tennessee and North Carolina on the N., South Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean on the E., Florida S., and Alabama W. The Savannah river separates the State on the E. from South Carolina; the St Mary’s, on the S., divides it in part from Florida; the Chattahoochee, on the W., flows between Georgia and Alabama for nearly half its course. Georgia lies between 30° 21′ 39″ and 35° N. lat., and between 81° and 85° 53′ 38″ W. long. It is 320 miles long from N. to S., and 256 miles in its greatest breadth from E. to W., with an area of 58,000 square miles.
Surface.—Georgia has three distinctly marked zones, varying in soil, climate, and productions. Her sea-coast is similar to that of the Carolinas, being skirted by fertile islands, separated from the mainland by narrow lagoons or by sounds. This section is essentially tropical. Beginning at the sea-coast, a gradually ascending sandy plain extends northward and westward as far as the head of navigation on the Savannah, Ogeechee, Oconee, and Ocmulgee rivers, where it meets a Primary formation. Augusta, Milledgeville, and Macon indicate the northern limit of this tract. Here begins the hilly and finally mountainous region, the most, extensive, fertile, and salubrious of the State. A second plateau, 60 or 70 miles broad, stretches above the falls of the rivers until it meets the southernmost ranges of the great Appalachian chain of mountains which traverses Virginia, North Carolina, and northern Georgia under the name of the Blue Ridge, and is finally lost in Alabama. This picturesque district extends in Georgia from Rabun county in the north-east corner of the State to Dade in the extreme north-west, where the summit of Lookout Mountain dominates the valley of the Tennessee. Here are the sources of the two principal rivers of the State; here is the gold-producing region; and here is also the theatre of some of the most sanguinary battles of the civil war. The elevations of the Blue Ridge vary from 1200 to 4000 feet. In the south-east of the State is the extensive Okefinokee swamp, which has an estimated circumference of 180 miles, is filled with pools and islands, and is the congenial home of alligators, lizards, and other reptiles.
Rivers and Harbours.—There are many fine rivers in Georgia. A north and south line passing through Macon would nearly divide the streams flowing into the Atlantic from those discharging into the Gulf of Mexico. The Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha, Santilla, and St Mary’s fall into the Atlantic, and the Chattahoochee, Flint, and tributaries of the Suwanee flow to the Gulf coast. The rivers are generally navigable for steamboats to the falls which occur on the great central plateau of the State—that is to say, the Savannah to Augusta, the Oconee and Ocmulgee (confluents of the Altamaha) to Milledgeville and Macon, and the Chattahoochee to Columbus. Besides their ordinary purposes as avenues of travel and commerce, her rivers have given to Georgia the character of a manufacturing State, and she is developing and increasing their abundant water-powers with energy and success.
The Savannah is formed of two small streams which rise near the North Carolina line, and unite on the boundary between S. Carolina and Georgia in Hart county. Flowing thence in a nearly S.S.E. direction for 450 miles, it enters the Atlantic near 32° N. lat. The Savannah is navigable from November to June. Ships ascend it 18 miles to the city of Savannah, steamboats to Augusta, 230 miles, and by means of a canal around the falls there, constructed in 1845, light draught vessels navigate it 150 miles higher. This canal, 9 miles long, furnishes the water-power of Augusta. The river is here about 300 yards wide. From Augusta the traveller descends the Savannah through the cotton-fields of the table-lands, and the long reaches of semi-tropical vegetation dominated by groves of live oak, to the rich rice plantations of the seaboard.
The Chattahoochee is one of the largest and most interesting rivers of Georgia. It rises on the declivity of the Blue Ridge, in Habersham county, in the N.E. of the State, pursues a devious S.W. course through the gold region of upper Georgia until it reaches West Point, on the Alabama frontier. It then flows nearly south to the Florida State line, where it is joined by the Flint, when the two streams flow on through Florida to the Gulf under the name of the Appalachicola. Large steamboats ascend the Chattahoochee in the season of navigation to Columbus, 350 miles from the Gulf. The whole estimated length of the river is 550 miles. The falls at Columbus create a valuable water-power, constituting that city one of the three important manufacturing centres of the State. Just above Columbus the Chattahoochee is broken in picturesque rapids, overlooked by a rocky cliff called the “Lover’s Leap,” which is the subject of an interesting legend. Besides Columbus, the towns of West Point and Fort Gaines are the most important on the Chattahoochee in Georgia; Appalachicola at its embouchure on the Gulf is its shipping and distributing port, but is decreasing in importance since the railway system of the State has assumed a large share of the traffic once confined to the navigable streams.
The Oconee and Ocmulgee rise near each other, in the N. of the State, flow through its centre to within 100 miles of the sea, when their united streams pass on S.E. to the Atlantic under the name of the Altamaha. Milledgeville, the former capital of Georgia, is on the Oconee, and Macon on the Ocmulgee. Darien on the Altamaha is reached by vessels drawing 11 to 14 feet of water. The Ogeechee, rising also in the north, is about 200 miles long. It drains the country between the Savannakh and Altamaha, entering the Atlantic a few miles south of the Savannah. The Ogeechee is navigable for light vessels 30 or 40 miles, and for keel-boats to Louisville. The Santilla and St Mary’s drain the south-eastern counties, and are each navigable 30 or 40 miles for sloops. The Flint, Ockloconee, and Suwanee drain the south-western counties; the Flint is navigable to Albany, 250 miles from the Gulf, for steamboats. The Tallapoosa and Coosa, head-waters of the Alabama, and the Hiawassee, one of the sources of the Tennessee, rise in the mountains of Georgia—the last, however, finding its way to the Gulf of Mexico by the Ohio and Mississippi valleys.
[Compiled according to Census of 1880 and latest surveys.]
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Climate, Soil, and Productions.—The central and southern portions of Georgia, including the seaboard, are subject to excessive heats in summer. At Savannah observations show the mean temperature for July to have sometimes reached 99° Fahr. In the northern district of the State the same season is cooler and less enervating. Indeed, the mountain region is becoming noted for its genial and healthful climate, and is attracting invalids and pleasure seekers from all parts of the Union. In the low marshy lands lying contiguous to or upon the coast, malarious fevers prevail in spring and summer. The belt of country stretching from Augusta across the State to Columbus, having a width of from 30 to 60 miles, is pronounced a very healthy district. At Augusta the mean summer temperature is about 79°, the winter 47°. At Atlanta careful observations give the average of summer heat as 75°, and winter 45°. Diseases of the respiratory organs are rare among natives of northern and central Georgia. The interior is comparatively free from the dreaded epidemics cholera and yellow fever, but Savannah and the coast are periodically scourged by them.
There is in Georgia as great diversity of soil as of climate. Beginning with the Sea Islands, which are composed of a sandy alluvium, intermixed with decomposed coral, we pass from the rich alluvions near the coast, in which the great rice plantations are, to the thinner soil of the Pine Belt, sometimes inaptly denominated Pine Barrens. These are at present valuable for their timber and naval stores, but are susceptible of cultivation. The middle region consists of a red loam, once productive, but from long cultivation impoverished. With the aid of fertilizers it produces cotton, tobacco, and the cereals. We now reach the so-called Cherokee country of the north, containing lands among the most fertile in the State, lands which, notwithstanding their tillage from an unknown period by the aboriginal inhabitants, grow wheat, corn, Irish potatoes, pease, beans, &c., abundantly. Cotton may also be successfully cultivated, but with less advantage than in other districts of the State. This fibre is chiefly produced along the fertile bottom-lands or contiguous uplands of the rivers. The same lands yield rice, Indian corn, and sugar. Middle and south-west Georgia are the most productive cotton areas. In the south-west the soil, though light and sandy, produces cotton. In southern Georgia there are millions of acres of magnificent yellow pine forests of great value for house or ship-building, and in these forests turpentine plantations have been opened. The live-oak, also valuable for ship-building purposes, abounds in the south-east of the State. The swamps afford cedar and cypress, the central region oak and hickory. Walnut, chestnut, ash, gum, magnolia, poplar, sycamore, beech, elm, maple, fir, and spruce trees are found in different localities; but in the older settled districts the original forests have disappeared.
It is frequently said that there is nothing grown in any of the States except Florida that Georgia cannot profitably produce. A few of the tropical fruits of Florida cannot be raised in Georgia, but all those of the temperate zone succeed well. Tobacco may be grown in any part of the State, although it is not extensively cultivated for export. Cotton is the great crop of Georgia. She ranks third among the eight cotton States, having exported or consumed in her own manufactures, for the year ending September 1878, 604,676 baless, worth at the point of export $30,000,000. Of this crop 3608 baless is classed as Sea island. Her crop for 1877 was 491,800 baless. The counties of Burke, Dougherty, Lee, Monroe, Stewart, Sumter, and Washington yield 25 per cent. of the whole product of the State.
The emancipation of the slaves in the Southern States has naturally produced great and important changes in the labour system of that section. The planter must now purchase the labour he formerly owned. The black is free to dispose of his labour to the best advantage. The contracts for labour are of three kinds,—for money wages by the month or year, for a share of the crop, or for specific rent in money or products. The first has been practised to a limited extent by the best and most prosperous planters. The share system has been the one generally adopted, because the blacks greatly affected quasi-proprietorship of the soil, and because the owners were inexperienced in the management of free labour, and not inclined to come personally in contact with it. The share varies in different localities, but usually one-third to half the crop goes to the labourers, the landlords furnishing the necessary tools. The readjustment of labour in the south is watched with the keenest interest in other sections of the Union as one of the difficult problems growing out of the suddenly changed relation between white and black; and though some traces of his original servitude remain a cause of irritation between North and South, the agreement between the enfranchised black and his late master is likely to be harmonious, where each is so dependent on the other as is the case in the cotton-growing States of the Union.
Statistics.—A carefully tabulated statement shows that, in addition to her cotton crop, Georgia produced, in 1876, 23,629,000 bush.ls of Indian corn, valued at 14,172,000; 2,840,000 bushels of wheat, worth $3,805,600; 5,700,000 bushels of oats, worth $3,876,000; and 23,600 tons of hay, worth $347,628. To these principal crops should be added the timber and naval stores exported from Atlantic outports. In January 1877 there were in Georgia 118,300 horses, 404,900 oxen and other cattle, 96,200 mules, 270,400 milch cows, 378,600 sheep, and 1,483,100 swine, having a total valuation of $30,815,117. The State is admirably adapted for stock-raising, but, as cotton culture offers the quickest returns, it has hitherto engrossed the attention of planters and farmers. The grain and root crops are largely cultivated for the support of the agricultural population.
The rice crop of Georgia in 1870 was 22,277,380 ℔; tobacco, 288,596 ℔; molasses, 553,192 gals.; wine, 21,927 gals.; sugar, 644 hhds; sweet potatoes, 2,621,562 bush.; Irish potatoes, 197,101 bush.; butter, 4,499,572 ℔; honey, 610,877 ℔; wool, 846,947 ℔, increased in 1878 to about 1,000,000 ℔. The latest official census shows that 6,831,856 acres, valued at $94,559,468, are improved in farms; value of farm implements and machinery, $4,614,701; estimated value of all farm products, $80,390,228; estimated value of manufactured products, $31,196,115. The total valuation of the State in 1870 was $268,169,207, against $645,895,237 in 1860. The decrease is owing to the emancipation of the slaves; but the State is steadily gaining ground in increased acreage cultivated, increased number and value of manufactories, and increased productive capacity everywhere.
Mineral products.—Georgia was perhaps the El Dorado of which the Spaniards who invaded Florida were in search. Before the gold discovery in California, the “placers” of northern Georgia were profitably worked for many years; but since 1852 their produce has almost wholly ceased. The gold-bearing region is comprised in the counties of Lumpkin, Habersham, Forsyth, and Hall,—the precious metal being found in the alluvial deposits of the streams, and also intermixed with the quartz rock of the hills. A branch mint was established by the Government at Dahlonega, the shire town of Lumpkin county. In 1853 it coined gold bullion of nearly half a million dollars’ value; but, as in California, the placers, or surface deposits, have become exhausted. Besides this precious metal, Georgia contains, mainly in N.E. or Cherokee Georgia, coal and fossiliferous iron ore distributed along the ridges between the Tennessee and Alabama border. The Cohutta mountains contain copper, and also silver and lead ores. Iron ore, manganese, slate, baryta, and brown hæmatite are found on the western declivity of this range. Between the Cohutta mountains and the Blue Ridge is a vein of marble, and adjacent to it are the gold-bearing schists, which reappear on the south side of the Blue Ridge. Other minerals are granite, gypsum, limestone, sienite, marl, burrstone, soapstone, asbestos, shales, tripoli, fluor-spar, kaolin, porcelain clay, arragonite, tourmaline, emerald, carnelian, ruby, opal, calcedony, agate, amethyst, jasper, garnets, schorl, zircon, rose-quartz, beryl, and even diamonds.
Population.—The latest official census of Georgia (1870) gives a population of 1,184,709 souls, 638,926 being white and 545,142, or nearly one half, black. This population is distributed among 136 counties, which include 8 cities and 134 incorporated towns. Georgia, which ranks tenth in area, is the twelfth of the Union in respect to population. Though showing an increase of 127,423 persons in the previous decade, which embraced the period of the war with the North, she has fallen behind one in her rank; but indications of prosperity in her agricultural and manufacturing interests warrant the belief that Georgia will show a marked gain in 1880. A large proportion of this anticipated increase may be confidently assigned to the northern section of the State, though the middle section is at present most thickly settled.
Counties.—There are 136 counties in the State, viz.:—Appling, Baker, Baldwin, Banks, Bartow, Berrien, Bibb, Brooks, Bryan, Bullock, Burke, Butts, Calhoun, Campbell, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Catoosa, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Chattooga, Clarke, Cherokee, Clay, Clayton, Clinch, Cobb, Coffee, Colquitt, Columbia, Cowetta, Crawford, Dade, Dawson, Decatur, De Kalb, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Douglas, Early, Echols, Effingham, Elbert, Emmanuel, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glasscock, Glynn, Gordon, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Haralson, Harris, Hart, Heard, Henry, Houston, Irwin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Lincoln, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Macon, Madison, Marion, M‘Duffie, M‘Intosh, Meriwether, Miller, Milton, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Murray, Muscogee, Newton, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Pickens, Pierce, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Quitman, Rabun, Randolph, Richmond, Rockdale, Schley, Scriven, Spalding, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliafero, Tatnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Towns, Troup, Twiggs, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, White, Whitfield, Wilcox, Wilkes, Wilkinson, and Worth.
Cities and Towns.—Georgia has no large cities. Savannah, the chief sea-port, has a population of about 30,000; Atlanta, the capital, 35,000; Augusta, 23,768; Macon, 10,810; Columbus, 7401; Athens, 4251; Milledgeville, 2750; and Rome, 2748. The important towns are Albany, Americus, Bainbridge, Brunswick, Cartersville, Covington, Cuthbert, Dalton, Dawson, Eatonton, Fort Valley, Griffin, La Grange, Marietta, Newnan, Thomasville, Valdosta, Washington, and West Point. Columbus, Americus, Atlanta, and Rome, as well as Savannah, are considerable shipping points, for cotton; Athens is the seat of the university of Georgia; Augusta and Columbus are manufacturing centres; Macon has three religious colleges; Darien, Brunswick, and St Mary’s manufacture and export lumber. Andersonville, in Sumter county, acquired terrible celebrity during the civil war as the site of the chief military prison of the Southern Confederacy. Atlanta is by far the best example of rapid growth the State affords. From a population of 21,189 exhibited by the census of 1870 the city advanced to 35,000 in 1876. It is a railway and manufacturing centre. In the vicinity and for its possession were conducted some of the most important military operations of the secession war.
Manufactures.—Georgia is the foremost southern State in her railway and manufacturing enterprises. Both have been chiefly developed since the war, from which everything in the south of the Union dates. Her rivers and railways afford abundant facilities for the movement of merchandise as well as crops. Her streams also provide excellent and unfailing water-power. In the development of her industries a great future is predicted for Georgia. Indeed some of the more sanguine claim that she is already becoming a formidable rival of New England in the manufacture of cotton and woollen fabrics.
There are in the State 38 cotton factories, with 123,233 spindles and 2125 looms. There are 14 woollen factories, with 4200 spindles and 135 looms. Augusta and Columbus take the lead in the number and capacity of these works, for which certain important advantages are claimed. The water-power is so ample that the mills are run by it alone. The streams do not freeze in winter. The cotton and wool are grown at the factory door, saving to the mill-owner the cost of transporting his raw material from a great distance. Labour is cheaper. Finally, the State in order to encourage the investment of foreign capital in manufactures, has by law exempted such capital from taxation for ten years. The product of the Georgia mills finds a ready market in the Southern and Western States. It is asserted on good authority that during the years 1875, 1876, and 1877—years of unparalleled depression to the manufacturing interests of the United States—the mills of Georgia, especially those of Augusta and Columbus, were never idle, and paid a handsome return on their invested capital. Besides the 52 factories which convert so large a share of her raw product into cloths, there are 1375 grain mills, having 1453 run of stones for corn and 556 for wheat. There are 734 sawmills, 77 waggon and carriage factories, 6 iron-furnaces, 7 iron-foundries, 11 limekilns, 4 potteries, 68 tanneries, 6 turpentine-distilleries, 2 rolling-mills, 5 paper-mills, 12 furniture manufactories, 3 rice-mills, &c. The manufacture of rope, bagging, twine, tobacco, ice, sashes and blinds, agricultural implements, boilers and machinery, fertilizers, &c., is carried on more or less extensively. Besides Augusta and Columbus, the largest manufacturing city of the State, there are cotton factories at Athens, Macon, West Point, Decatur, and Atlanta. The latter city also has large iron works. Thomasville, Dalton, Albany, Marietta, and Rome are also manufacturing points.
Commerce.—Large vessels can enter only four harbours, viz., Savannah, Darien, Brunswick, and St Mary’s. The inlets or sounds which divide the coast islands from each other or from the mainland are generally only navigable for small craft. At mean low tides the bar of the Savannah (Tybee entrance) has 19, the Altamaha 14, that of St Simon’s sound (entrance to Brunswick) 17, and that of St Mary’s river 14 feet of water. Savannah, Brunswick, and St Mary’s are ports of entry. Cotton and lumber are the principal exports. Of the former 610,419 bales of Upland, and 11,309 of Sea-island were exported during the year ending September 2, 1878. The shipment of wool for the same time was 988,389 ℔. These figures should not be taken to represent the crop of the State. The ship-timber, boards, deals, clapboards, &c., are chiefly shipped from the other ports. About 100 vessels, of 22,000 tons burden, are employed in the foreign and coastwise trade. For the year ending December 31, 1878, the total tonnage of the port of Savannah was—entered, 280,995 tons foreign and 385,532 coastwise; cleared, 223,885 foreign and 418,958 coastwise; value of imports $505,596, and of exports $24,014,535. In the district of Brunswick and Darien the entries were 124,711 and the clearances 32,579 tons; value of exports $1,030,943. The St Mary’s entries were 16,052 tons foreign and 20,065 coastwise; value of exports $120,186, and of imports $1421.
Railways.—Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, Albany, and Augusta are railway centres. In 1860 there were in Georgia 1404 miles of completed railway; in 1878 there are 2340 miles. The Atlantic and Gulf Railway crosses the State from Savannah to Bainbridge, in the extreme south-west, on the Flint river. It is 236 miles long, passing through Blackshear, Valdosta, and Thomasville (from which there is a branch line to Albany—58 miles—and Macon), while from Dupont there is a junction with the Florida lines. The Brunswick and Albany also extends from the coast at Brunswick to Albany, 172 miles, whence it is to be continued in a westerly direction to the Chattahoochee, in Early county. A third line connects Brunswick with Macon (187 miles); and another, the Central Georgia, unites Savannah with Macon and Atlanta (294 miles). The Central Georgia works a branch-line from Millen to Augusta; the Milledgeville and Eatenton from Gordon to Eatonton (22 miles); the South-Western from Macon to Eufaula, Ala. (144 miles), with branches from Fort Valley to Columbus (72 miles), Smithville to Albany (23 miles), Cuthbert to Fort Gaines (20 miles), Fort Valley to Perry (13 miles), and Albany to Arlington (36 miles); the Macon and Western from Macon to Atlanta; and the Upson County line from Barnesville to Thomaston (16 miles).
Atlanta is situated on the great iron highways from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia to Mobile and New Orleans, and from Chicago to Florida. The Western and Atlantic connects Atlanta and the Georgia system with the Tennessee lines at Chattanooga (138 miles). Several great battles were fought for the possession of this railway during the secession war. The Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line extends to Charlotte, N.C. (269 miles). The Georgia railway connects Atlanta with Augusta (171 miles), with lateral lines from Carnak to Warrenton (4 miles), Union Point to Athens (40 miles), and Barnet to Washington (18 miles); it also works the Macon and Augusta line from Carnak to Augusta (70 miles). The Atlanta and West Point (80 miles) unites those places. The Alabama and Chattanooga crosses the N.W. corner of the State. The Cherokee extends from Cartersville on the Western and Atlantic to Rockmart (23 miles). The Columbus and Atlanta, projected between Columbus and Rome, the Memphis branch (Rome to Decatur, Ala.), and Savannah, Griffin, and N. Alabama, from Griffin to Newnan, to be extended to Guntersville, Ala., are in progress. The Georgia Southern extends from Dalton to the Ala. State line (portion of Selina, Koine, and Dalton road); North-Eastern from Athens to Lulah (39 miles); Ocmulgee and Horse Creek (7 miles); Rome Railroad, Rome to Kingston (20 miles).
Government.—The executive power is vested in a governor elected for four years by a majority of the people. If there is no election by the people, the general assembly chooses one of the two receiving the highest number of votes. The legislative authority is conferred upon a senate, members of which are elected for four years, and a house of representatives elected for two years. The legislature holds annual sessions, beginning on the second Wednesday of January. The State judiciary consists of a supreme court of three judges, who hold office for twelve years, one retiring every four years, and of inferior courts, presided over by nineteen judges, appointed by the executive with the consent of the senate. Except in probate cases, these courts have original jurisdiction, civil and criminal, in law and equity. County courts are established in most of the counties. There is an ordinary for each county elected for four years, who holds a court of ordinary and probate. The organic law of the State now forbids slavery or involuntary servitude except for the punishment of crime. Imprisonment for debt, and legislation affecting the free exercise of that personal liberty guaranteed to the citizen by the amendments to the constitution of the United States, are also prohibited. All male inhabitants between eighteen and forty-five are subject to military duty. There is a homestead exemption of $2000 on real and $1000 on personal property, except for taxes, for money borrowed or expended on the homestead, or for labour or materials used upon it. The property held by a married woman at the time of marriage, or subsequently inherited or acquired by her, is not liable for the husband’s debts. A married woman may also sue and be sued in matters pertaining to her separate estate, and may carry on trade as if single. Georgia is entitled to seven representatives and two senators in Congress.
Education.—Previous to the war, there was no common school system in Georgia. Although a plan of public instruction was organized at an earlier date, it was not given effect to until 1873. In that year the schools were put in working condition, and are now to be found in every county of the State. The attendance in 1876 was—whites 121,418, coloured 57,987, showing a small but steady increase for the three years the schools had been in operation. It is computed by the school commission at 200,000 for 1879. The higher branches of education are well represented. As early as 1801 steps for founding a university were taken at Athens. The first commencement took place in 1804. The college proper (Franklin College at Athens) annually admits free of charge “fifty meritorious young men of limited means,” and also such as may be studying for the ministry who need aid. There is also connected with the university a medical college, located at Augusta, and an agricultural college at Dahlonega, with nearly 250 students, whose tuition is free. The State college of agriculture and mechanic arts, also connected with the university, has a special endowment derived from the United States of $240,000; the whole endowment of the university is $376,500. The university, exclusive of its establishments at Augusta and Dahlonega, has five departments, 13 professors, and 200 students, with a library of 14,000 volumes, and two literary societies. Besides the usual collegiate course, there are a preparatory school and a law school. Mercer College, at Macon, is a Baptist institution. It was founded in 1838; and until 1870 it was located at Penfield, in Greene county. It has an endowment of $160,000, a library of 12,000 volumes, and about 135 students. Besides the regular academic course, there are schools of law and theology. The high schools at Penfield and Dalton are connected with this college. Emory College at Oxford, Newton county, was chartered in 1836. It is the property of the Georgia and Florida conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church (South). The present number of students is 156. Emory has a valuable college apparatus and a good working library, but lacks an endowment. The Wesleyan Female College at Macon was one of the first female colleges, if not the first, in the world, its charter having been granted in 1836. It has 200 students, and is the property of the Methodist denomination. Since 1840 degrees have been conferred upon 1080 graduates. The Southern Masonic Female College at Covington belongs to the Grand Lodge of Georgia, and is designed to educate female orphans of freemasons. Pio Nono College at Macon is a recently established Catholic institution, chiefly founded by the efforts of the bishop of Savannah. The Atlanta University for the education of negroes was established by the now extinct Freedmen’s Bureau and various charitable societies of the Northern States. It receives an annual appropriation from the Georgia legislature of $8000. It accommodates 240 pupils. There are a number of institutions, in addition to those enumerated, that are entitled colleges, but come more properly within the designation of high schools. There are also institutions for the blind (at Macon), and for the deaf and dumb (near Rome).
Objects of Interest.—Perhaps the most beautiful scenery in Georgia is to be found in the mountain region traversed by the Air Line railway. About 2 miles from the town of Toccoa the creek of that name falls 185 feet over a precipice. Fifteen miles beyond Toccoa are the cascades of Tallulah, where the river descends successive terraces of broken rock between the walls of a chasm 800 feet deep. In this vicinity are the charming valley of Nacoochee and Mount Yonah. In the extreme north-east is Rabun gap and the cascades of Eastatoia. Connected with this region, once the hunting-grounds of the warlike Cherokees, are many Indian legends. The country between Atlanta and Chattanooga is deeply interesting from having been the battle-ground of opposing armies in the civil war. Kenesaw mountain, itself the scene of a bloody encounter, commands a view of the country which for two months the Confederate commanders disputed foot by foot. Stone mountain, 9 miles from Decatur, is much visited. The Chattahoochee, in the neighbourhood of Columbus, is picturesque; and Savannah is one of the most attractive and idiosyncratic cities of the Union. There are numerous mineral springs scattered over the State, which are much resorted to by invalids.
History.—Before the arrival of Europeans the country now embraced in Georgia was inhabited by the Cherokee and Creek Indians. The Cherokees possessed the north, the Creeks the south. Both were very powerful and warlike, the Cherokees numbering 6000 warriors, and having 64 towns and villages. To be more precise, the Cherokee country extended from the 34th parallel north to the country of the Six Nations, and from the heads of the rivers emptying upon the South Carolina coast westward to the Mississippi. The whole course of the Tennessee was within this magnificent domain, now mostly embraced in the four States of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In 1729 this extensive territory was surrendered by treaty to the crown of Great Britain. The following year the Cherokees made formal submission to Sir A. Cuming, Bart.
Georgia was the only one of the original thirteen colonies that received any aid in its settlement from the Government of England. General James Oglethorpe conceived and executed the plan of founding an English colony in that portion of the Carolina proprietaries’ grant between the Savannah and Altamaha. His purpose was to create an asylum in the New World where insolvent debtors, and persons fleeing from religious persecution, might begin life anew or enjoy religious freedom. By royal letters-patent issued in June 1732 the proposed colony was called Georgia in honour of the reigning prince; and the House of Commons granted £10,000, which was soon increased by private subscription to £36,000. Under the charter the trustees had powers of legislation, but could receive no reward for their services. Even grants of land to themselves were forbidden.
With 116 emigrants Oglethorpe sailed from England in November 1732, arriving in the Savannah in February. He landed at the present site of Savannah, where he was soon after hospitably received by delegates from the Lower Creeks, who consented that the English might peaceably inhabit among them. The next year a small number of Bavarians came over, and were settled in what is now Effingham county. Oglethorpe also established settlements at Darien, at Augusta, and on St Simon’s island. In 1736 the colony received considerable accessions of emigrants, with whom came John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism. In 1738 the Rev. George Whitefield visited Georgia, founding the orphan-house at Bethseda, near Savannah, from funds chiefly collected on his tour in the northern colonies.
In 1803 Georgia ceded to the general government all her territory west of the Chattahoochee, amounting to nearly 100,000 square miles, out of which the States of Alabama and Mississippi were subsequently formed. The cession of Louisiana to the United States was of great benefit to Georgia in ending hostilities which the Spaniards were continually inciting the Indians to commit upon the scattered settlements. By a treaty with the Creeks, Georgia became possessed of a large tract in the south-west of the State. The second war with England (1812–15) involved Georgia in hostilities with the Indians on her western border, who were finally subdued by General Andrew Jackson. In 1821 the cession of Florida to the United States relieved Georgia from the long series of Spanish aggressions beginning with her existence as a colony.
In 1825 a serious difficulty arose between the State and national authorities in consequence of proceedings by the Georgia executive to extinguish the title to lands in the State held by the Creeks and Cherokees. The head chief of the Creeks, M‘Intosh, was assassinated by his people for signing away these lands to the whites. By an Act of Congress passed in 1830, these Indians were subsequently removed to the Indian territory west of the Mississippi.
Georgia formally seceded from the Union in January 1861. The Government forts and arsenals were seized. The first military operations were on the coast. In April 1862 Fort Pulaski, one of the defences of Savannah, was recaptured by the Federal forces under Com. Du Pont. St Mary’s, Brunswick, Darien, and St Simon’s island were also occupied.
In the beginning of 1863 the Federal forces were in possession of middle and west Tennessee. In September they occupied Chattanooga in strong force, the Confederates falling back by the Western and Atlantic Railway to Lafayette, Ga. A further advance by General Rosecrans, the Federal commander, brought on the severely contested battle of Chickamauga, on the creek of that name (September 20). The Federals retreated to Chattanooga, which was soon threatened by the Confederates under Bragg. In November the Union army under General Grant drove Bragg from all his positions. In the spring of 1864 the southern army was at Dalton, Ga., on the railway to Atlanta, which it covered. In May General Sherman moved forward against this force a numerous and well-appointed Union army. Severe battles took place at Resaca, Kingston, and Allatoona Pass. A series of strategical movements, signalized by frequent bloody conflicts between the rival armies, resulted in the possession of Atlanta by the Union forces, September 2. From this point Sherman began in November his memorable march across Georgia to the sea. On December 10th he arrived in the neighbourhood of Savannah, captured Fort M‘Allister by assault, and occupied the city on the 21st. A cavalry force under General Wilson entered Georgia from Alabama in April 1865, capturing Columbus, West Point, and Macon, and making Davis, the Confederate States president, prisoner. In June 1865 a provisional governor was appointed for the State by the president of the United States. A convention assembled in October at Milledgeville, which repealed the ordinance of secession, abolished slavery, and declared the war debt void. A new constitution was framed and ratified in 1868, and Rufus B. Bullock inaugurated as governor. The restoration of civil government under the new forms was not effected in Georgia without complications which retarded its re-establishment on a solid foundation, but the amendments to the national constitution were at length adopted, and her senators and representatives were admitted to seats in Congress in December 1870. During the war Georgia furnished about 80,000 soldiers for the Confederate armies. She emerged from it with her industries prostrated, her treasury empty, her social and political system revolutionized, her most flourishing cities in ruins. Her great natural resources are fast advancing her to a commanding position among her sister States; and these resources are developing in the hands of a free people with greater rapidity and advantage than when half the population was enslaved. Texas possibly excepted, no southern State has a greater future than Georgia.